Schools Get Beef from California Plant Tainted with Salmonella

WASHINGTON, Dec. 2 (UPI) — Four orders of ground beef produced during a salmonella recall at a California plant were headed for the school lunch program, an investigation found.

Documents obtained through the Freedom of Information Act reveal that meat from the Beef Packers Inc. plant was being disposed of last June, four orders were produced for school lunches, USA Today reported Wednesday.

The newspaper said the federal government paid hundreds of thousands of dollars to Beef Packers for 450,000 pounds of ground beef made from June 5 to June 23, the dates covered by the recall.

One of the school lunch orders tested positive for salmonella Newport, the very strain that prompted the recall, USA Today said.

The other three orders tested negative so those orders were shipped from the plant before the recall was announced.

A spokesman says the USDA plans to initiate “an independent review” of its testing procedures next year.

Copyright 2009 by United Press International

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